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they're out there saying you got to do and people -- they're sensationalizing this. >> that conservative talk show host is flying his jet after he's done with his plane and can't remember. >> right. >> not to mention the liberal talk show host the same, but maybe take them a little seriously. hey, man, good to see you. we're out of time. >> love you, baby. >> here now from carlos mencia to wolf blitzer. have a great weekend, everybody. thanks very much, rick. happening now, the hemorrhaging finally slows. new job loss numbers catching everyone by surprise. is it the beginning of the end of the worst recession in generation generations. what president obama is saying about it right now. and the debate over health care reform turns into town hall free-for-a free-for-all, screaming kind i don't say. but behind it all, are there really any solutions? and a top taliban leader believed killed by a miss from an american drone. why his death could make a
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tremendous difference in the fight against militants, including al qaeda. i'm wolf blitzer in cnn's command center for breaking news, politics, and extraordinary reports from around the world. you're in "the situation room." the number is out, and on the surface it's grim. 247,000 americans lost their jobs in july. but experts were bracing for much worse, and that's the smallest number of job losses this country has seen in a year. in fact, unemployment actually ticked down a tenth of a percent last month to 9.4%. it's a heartening piece of news for a white house increasingly feeling the heat of the ongoing recession. president obama says the worst of it may, repeat, may, be behind us. >> we have a steep mountain to climb, and we started in a very deep valley. but i have faith in the american people, in their capacity for hard work, and innovation and
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their commitment to one another and their courage to face adversity. >> we're going to go inside the new unemployment numbers with cnn's chief business correspondent ali velshi and find out who's faring best, who's faring worst. but first our senior white house correspondent, ed henry. what else is the president saying about the new numbers? >> wolf, the president was certainly not popping any champagne corks in the rose garden today, but he was toasting his own administration's achievements. even though there are a lot of people still not celebrating. >> reporter: the upbeat jobs report is little comfort to greg thompson, who just feels fortunate the unemployment benefits he collects at the one-stop career center in washington, d.c., were recently extended. >> for me, i'm just glad we did, but there's no jobs. i mean, you can't -- i go out every week and i get the same stories. >> reporter: but a couple of
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miles away at the white house, the president had a much osar view of the impact of his stimulus plan. >> this morning, we received additional signs that the worst may be behind us. >> reporter: while 247,000 more people lost jobs in july, the president noted that's far better than what he inherited. >> we're losing jobs at less than half the rate we were when i took office. we pulled the financial system back from the brink while we rescued our economy from catastrophe. we've also begun to build a new foundation for growth. >> reporter: republicans insist the stimulus may be working on the margins but has not provided the jolt the president originally promised. >> he has to define "working." they've set the bar that says, you know, we're going to have the second-grade depression and we didn't so it has to be working. >> reporter: while the president acknowledged there's a long way to, go he struck a very optimistic tone. >> i'm convinced we' cie the
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light at the end of the tunnel, but we have to work with conviction. >> reporter: but greg thompson suggests while some jobs may be coming back, wages are plumm plummeti plummeting. >> some people say, well, look, i'll pay you so much. and i say, well, that's half what i've been getting. and they say, if you don't want it, you know, we'll get somebody else to do it. >> now, the vice president's top economic adviser jarrett bernstein was a bit less optimistic than the president when he did an interview with me this morning on the radio. he says the white house is not confident the unemployment rate will continue to drop. it could go up next month or even reach 10%. the white house is trying to on one hand be optimistic but on the other hand keep this under check and try to measure and keep expectations down, wolf. >> i understand, ed, he's going to take this effort to win over the country on the road once again next week. >> that's right. he's going to be starting out in montana, go through some national parks, yellow stone, go through wyoming, then on to
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colorado and arizona, where he'll also go through the grand canyon with his family. he's going to be doing some town hall meetings. a chance for the president to talk about the economy but also continue that push on health care reform which he considers building the economy. >> thanks very much, ed. let's break down the new unemployment numbers with our chief business correspondent ali velshi. ali, who's faring best and who's faring worst? >> well, it's very different. we have a 9.4% national unemployment rate, but leet's look how it breaks down. men are getting it harder than women, largely because men occupy the types of jobs we've been losing the last several years, construction and manufacturing. adult men have an unemployment rate of 9.8%, higher than the national average, but down by 0.2 percentage points. adult women have a much lower unemployment rate than the national average, to men at 9.8%. let me show you about the job losses that we've seen over the
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last -- since the beginning of the recession. the recession began in december of 2007. job losses started in january of 2008. they were pretty stable for first six months of 2008, then this recession deepened substantially until we get down to january of '09 where we lost 741,000 in one month. since january, we've seen an improvement. in june, you can see it was a little bit worse than may was, but now we're back up to having lost only 241,000. boy, 247,000 jobs. what an environment we're in, wolf, when we can be thankful that we only lost 247,000 jobs in one month. but it's better than it was last month. >> yeah. of course. what sectors, ali, are losing the most jobs? >> well, no surprises there. we continue to see the heaviest losses in construction and manufacturing. what is interesting is we've seen more losses in construction than manufacturing. manufacturing has been the leader in job losses for months and months on end. retail also lost. and that, of course, makes
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sense. americans are not spending again. so, we're seeing losses in that area. the gains are only coming in a few areas. in fact, the only substantial gain was in health care where we saw 20,000 jobs added. this continues to be the most reliable area because despite the recession we have an aging population, health care needs are still there. education also tends to be a growing area and government employment. but that's really it. there's a lot more on the downside than the upside. but when we start to see a recovery, wolf, start to look for it in health care and education. those are the areas that will start to pop first. wolf? >> ali, thanks very much. the dow certainly did like the numbers. the dow going up today 113 points. let's check in with jack cafferty right now monopo. he's got "the cafferty file." these town hall meetings getting down right rowdy. the protests continue to get louder and they're becoming more violent in some cases. one event in tampa, florida, got particularly ugly. hecklers, people shoving and pushing as a democratic congresswoman tried to address the crowd.
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people were chanting "read the bill" and "tyranny." hundreds couldn't even get into this meeting. demonstrators on both sides of the debate spent their time shouting at one another. in st. louis, missouri, six people reportedly arrested after a protest broke out on what was supposed to be a forum on aging. house speaker nancy pelosi was at the center of another protest about 200 strong in denver. the crowd was loud but orderly, about half supporting health care reform and half opposed. pelosi and other democrats insist these protests at these meetings will not derail health care reform once congress gets back to work next month. democrats have been accusing republicans and special interest groups of orchestrating a lot of these demonstrations. some liberal groups have begun sending their own supporters detailed instructions on how to counter what they call organized disruptions. republicans insist all of this opposition is rele jit mat. just grassroots democracy.
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and coming from people who are concerned about the issue. conservative groups are telling their supporters where to find these upcoming town hall meetings, and they're sending them confrontational questions to ask members of congress and chants and slogans to use once they get there. the question then becomes -- go to, post a comment on my blog. feelings running very strong. >> going to be a hot august. >> yeah. >> for these lawmakers. >> yeah, really. and wait till they get back. what are they going to do when they get back to capitol hill? >> order some new jet planes. >> more airplanes. that's right. >> all right, jack. thanks very much. debate over health care reform, fraud that's costing all of us billions of dollars a year. how bad the problem really is. also, lobbying to influence the shape of health care reform. why it's about to kick up to a whole new level. plus, cash for clunkers. will the government keep the wildly popular program going?
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it's a time-honored american tradition, the town hall meeting. but when it comes to health care reform right now, some gatherings are turning into free-for-alls as noisy protesters try to hijack the debate. still, intelligent and passionate discussions manage to rise above the fray.
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>> i'm going to be respectful of you. i'm going to be respectful of you whether you agree or disagree with me. and i'm going to ask you to do the same with me and the same with each other. >> i have one question. talking about this, i assume that you've read this monstrosity and you know that there is not one word in there that says anything about tort reform. >> thank you. >> yeah. >> thank you all very much for joining us tonight. we're trying to make progress on an issue that has fundamental meaning to our families, to our seniors, to well-being of our people. we're not going to stand here.
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[ shouting ] >> harry reid and the rest of the people in congress and the senate, are they going to be willing to be on the same plan they're asking us to be on? >> but nobody's talking about setting up -- putting 47 million people in a public plan. we don't know that's going to be part of the bill. what we are talking about -- what we are talking about is giving people who don't have health insurance options. >> a direct assault on our personal liberties, our prernl freedom, our personal privacy. you need to open it up to the free markets. you need to get the government the hell out of our way. >> meanwhile, the health care industry is spending tens of billions of dollars to influence the reform debate and the battle is about to get even more
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fierce. our national political correspondent jessica yellin has that part of the story. >> reporter: here are some staggering numbers. $39 million. that's the amount of money the insurance industry has spent on lobbying since march. $133 million, the amount spent by the rest in the fight for health care reform. >> the frenetic nature of this is unusual by the standards of the last decade. i don't think we've seen anything like this for quite some time. >> reporter: this month, expect the money to flow even faster as the insurance industry combats new attacks by democrats and their allies. >> why do the health insurance companies and the republicans want to kill president obama's health insurance reform? >> reporter: democrats have decided to tag the insurance industry as the enemy of health care reform. >> you will be hearing a great deal from our members about the health insurance industry and what it has done to the health
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of our country. >> reporter: the industry's response? they say they want reform, just done their way. they'll be making that point on the airwaves. >> we're america's health insurance companies, supporting bipartisan reforms. >> reporter: and on conference calls with reporters. >> the same old washington politics of find an enemy and go to war is a major step back. >> reporter: and they'll be arguing their case at town hall meetings across the country. >> we're moving to making sure the american people in august know outside the beltway that we are for reform and what those reforms are. >> reporter: the insurance industry has said they will support new rules, making it impossible to deny coverage because of a pre-existing condition. or to base pricing on a person's gender. but what they do not support is a government-run insurance option. they say that would be devastating to their business. jessica yellin, cnn, washington. >> one aspect of the health care
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industry that's virtually lost in the debate, and ignoring it could tack on billions and billions of dollars to health care costs. our senior correspondent allan chernoff is here with more on this part of the story. explain what we're talking about. >> we're talking about fraud, wolf, billions and billions of dollars lost every single year because of health care fraud. it is a major reason that our health insurance premiums rise every year, medicare and medicaid are draining the treasury. if for all the talk of washington of controlling health care costs, the issue of fraud is getting little attention. >> reporter: teresa knew her podiatrist was cheating blue cross/blue shield of michigan when she read her insurance statement. dr. jeffrey cook had billed thousands of dollars to surgically remove dozens of warts, when teresa only had a discolored toenail. >> it was, like, robbery. i mean, they were overcharging for a procedure that wasn't done. >> reporter: teresa called blue
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cross, which investigated, ultimately leading to the arrest and imprisonment of podiatrist jeffrey cook. health care fraud perpetrated by doctor, pharmacists, even organized crime gangs, is rampant. senate investigation found medicaid in recent years paid nearly half a million claims to people posing as doctors who were dead. such fraud costs every american. it drives up prices for medical insurance, treatment, and drops. >> it's a domino effect it ends up with the consumer. somebody's got to be reimbursed for it. somebody's got to fund that and ultimately that's why it gets passeds down. >> that's why major health insurance companies have special investigations unit to weed out fraudulent crimes. >> we want to get that money back. >> he and other investigators estimate fraud accounts far minimum of 3% of all health care spending, $72 billion a year. other experts say the figure is more than three times that, topping $200 billion.
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>> if we do not reform health care, your premiums and out-of-pocket costs will continue to skyrocket. >> reporter: president obama warned health care reform is needed to get medical costs under control. but one of the biggest culprits, fraud, gets little mention in the congressional reform effort. >> they're certainly aware of this problem. they don't seem to know the magnitude or the seriousness. they don't seem to be acting with the kind of urgency that i would like. >> the health reform bill approved in the house, 1,018 pages long, devotes only 40 pages to the issue of fraud. it and bills in the senate would add $100 million a year to combat fraud, waste, and abuse. that's the amount of health care fraud occurring in this country every 12 hours, using the most conservative estimate. that level of corruption is one of the big reasons our medical bills rise steadily every year. the big cushion has been to
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provide more coverage for americans, but experts warn if fraud isn't addressed more aggressively, american taxpayers will be paying billions more than needed to provide health insurance for those who don't have it. >> comes out of all our pockets when all is said and done. >> absolutely. they want to turn on the faucet for health care spend bug there's a big drain at the bottom of that sink and that's fraud. >> thanks very much, allan, for that. a republican senator calling it quits. florida's mel martinez is resigning before his term is up. what it means for the senate and the man eyeing his seat. plus, take a look at who's tweeting now. the sixth president of the united states, john quincy adams.
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don lemon is monitoring other important stories incoming to "the situation room." don, what's going on? >> reporter: a lot, wolf. the senate ethics committee has cleared democratic senator chris dodd of connecticut and kent conrad of north dakota of breaking rules by accepting cut-rage mortgages. after a yearlong investigation, the committee found vip mortgages they received from a lender countrywide did not violate senate gift rules. but the committee scolded is two
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for not being more care to feel avoid the appearance of wrongdoing. both senators said they didn't know they were getting special deals. president barack obama signed off on a deal this morning to extend funding for the popular program known as cash for clunkers. the measure offers refund vouchers worth of $4,500. the new bill pumps an additional $2 billion into into that program, which had burned through its initial funding in just one week. illinois will become the 17th state to ban text messaging while driving. the new law takes effect january 1st. a group of senators is pushing for a national ban on texting while driving. the university of florida will start the upcoming college football season the same theyway they ended last season, and that is ranked number one. the first "usa today" coaches' poll was just released with the defending champion gators on top followed by the universities of texas, oklahoma, southern california, and alabama. ohio state, virginia tech, penn state, my alma mater, lsu, and
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mississippi round out the top ten, wolf. go tigers. what about buffalo? the buffalo blitzers? where are they? >> the buffalo bulls, as they were called, as opposed to the buffalo bills, the university bills. they had a pretty good year last year. see how they do this year. >> should change the name to buffalo blitzers, i think. >> maybe not. >> got a ring to it. >> thanks, don. more fallout from that extramarital affair of the south carolina governor mark sanford. it looks like he'll soon be living alone in the governor's mansion. plus, president obama plauding low unemployment numbers saying he can see light at the end of the tunnel of the economy. will there also be a turnaround in his poll numbers? taking its rightful place
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in a long line of amazing performance machines. this is the new e-coupe. this is mercedes-benz.
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you're in "the situation room." happening now -- new guidelines to protect the nation's school system from swine flu. will more schools be shutting down? we'll have the latest. a missile strike targeting a top taliban leader in pakistan.
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we'll give you the latest on whether he's alive or dead and tell you why the u.s. had a drr 5 million bounty on his head. and another huge bounty, this one on a legendary mexican drug lord. michael ware has an in-depth report on who he is and where he's hiding. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." the debate is raging across the country, but what exactly is president obama looking for in health care reform? i spoke about that with the white house press secretary, robert gibbs. >> what we want most of all is for somebody that's looking for health insurance in a private market to have choice and competition. that drives down the health insurance cost that they and their family have to pay to be covered with health insurance. >> joining us now to talk about that and a lot more, republican senator robert bennett of utah.
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senator bennett, thanks very much for coming in. >> happy to do it. >> the numbers obviously not great, but certainly 247,000 jobs lost is a lot better than 600,000 jobs lost a month or even 700,000 jobs lost a month. unemployment went from 9.5% to 9.4%. here's the question -- does president obama's economic stimulus package deserve some credit? >> frankly, i don't think so because a very, very large percentage of it simply hasn't been spent yet. i think it's something like 6% of the total amount has been put out, and you don't get that kind of a bang out of this. now, i don't think it's hurt, so i won't -- i won't say that that's the situation, but what happened last september when the economy dropped off the cliff hshgs everything stopped, okay. that meant that people were buying things that were in the inventory pipeline.
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that pipeline is now empty and you have to go back to work to start to produce things that people need to buy. so, you've got a natural recovery going on in the economy at the same time the stimulus money has started to flow. but the flow of the stimulus money has been so slight, i don't think you can say that that's the reason we're seeing what we're seeing. >> they say they've got about $100 billion of that nearly $800 billion of that out there that's starting to work and starting to have an effect, some of it already spent, some of it about to be spent. baugh lot more is in the pipeline that's going to be spent say over the next six months or the next year, which leads me to ask you this question -- is there light at the end of the tunnel as far as the recession is concerned? >> much too early to make that decision, because, as i say, you can make the case that the stabilization we've seen is all as a result of the handing ini the inventory and the beginning
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of building inventory. the question is are people going to start spending at the level they did? because if we don't, yes, we will be manufacturing to meet consumption demand but if say consumption is 60% of the economy rather than the 70% that it was before the recession, you're not going to see the kind of employment figures that you want. it's still much too early to start celebrating. >> all right. here is a question on the health care legislation that's out there. you're trying to work with democratic senator ron widen of oregon and others to forge a bipartisan piece of legislation. are you open at all, senator bennett, to the legislation that would include, as the president wants, some form of a government option, a government health insurance group that would compete with the private health insurance companies? >> absolutely not. >> under no circumstances. >> under no circumstances. >> so, do you have any reason to believe the president will back away from that? >> yes. i think the president would sign a bill without a public option.
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i think behind the scenes we've already started to get those signals out of the administration. i won't pin anybody down or name any names. but the reason that i and i think every republican and, as some democrats have said, not a few democrats will say no to a public option is that it is not competition. i heard the press secretary talk about, well, we're not in competition. when you're competing with the government, you're not competing and the statement, well, we need a government-run plan in order to keep the insurance companies honest, come on. the government owns general motors. do we want the government to make decisions in general motors to keep ford honest or to keep toyota honest? it's just ridiculous to say that the government should be in this business. >> this concept that you're coming together with ron widen and some other democrats and republicans, how much will that cost american taxpayers if it
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were implemented? >> i was interested again in the press secretary's comment about cost and we've got to get cost down. if you take the cbo score of their plan, it would cost an additional $1.7 trillion. if you take the group score of our plan, it would save $1.3 trillion. we could turn the cost curve down while they're talking about turning it up. $1.3 trillion saving versus $1.7 trillion spending, that's a $3 trillion swing, wolf. even in washington, $3 trillion is a lot of money. >> some raise questions about the lu win group because it's owned by a major hings company and as a result its numbers may not necessarily be all that objective. >> no. i reject that categorically. you look at the work they do, you look at how careful they are, and they are -- they are as good as they come. now, cbo, they've scored the
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wide and bennett bill as revenue neutral with an undetermined amount of savings in the out year. so, cbo -- and this was a democratic cbo -- is pretty much in the same ballpark. >> senator robert bennett of utah speaking with me. meanwhile, a senator catches every runoff guard announces he's resigning before his term is up. republican mel martinez is calling it quits. we'll tell you why. also, tweets from beyond the grave. the very late president john quincy adams on twitter. plus, new developments in the cyber attack that shut down twitter. we now know who's behind it. rog a great deal gets even better. let us recycle your older vehicle, and you could qualify for an additional $3500 or $4500 cash back... on top of all other offers.. on a new, more fuel efficient chevy. your chevy dealer has more eligible models to choose from - more than ford, toyota, or honda.
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just a short time ago,
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florida republican senator mel martinez announced he's resigning from the united states senate. here is his explanation. here's how he explained his decision. >> my priorities have always been my faith, my family, and my country, and at this stage of my life and after nearly 12 years of public service in florida and in washington, it is time to return to florida and my family. so, today i'm announcing my decision to step down from public office effective upon a successor taking office to fill out the remainder of my term. >> martinez had already said he would not run for re-election in 2010. it now falls on the florida governor, charlie crist, to appoint a replacement. let's get more on this unfolding story. i'm joined by our political editor mark preston. his announcement today surprise you? >> you know, it certainly shocked capitol hill. i don't think anyone thought it was going to happen, wolf. however, we shouldn't be surprised. mel martinez never seemed to embrace washington and he has a
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history of doing such things. he was the general chairman of the republican dmags nal committee and bowed out in the heat of the 2007 primary for the republican presidential nomination, so we shouldn't be too surprised. >> what does it mean for the popular republican governor of florida, charlie crist? >> you and i have spoke on the him many, many times and he is running for mel martinez's seat. he just said in the last hour he will not appoint himself to the seat. he'll wait the next couple weeks to try to figure out who would be a really good place holder to fill that seat. so, a couple of names have popped up including former congressman clay shaw, former chief of staff george lemieux and jim smith, the former attorney general. some names being discussed for the seat. >> in terms of the balance of power, assuming he'll name a republican, won't have any dramatic change in the senate, will it? >> no, it won't have any dramatic change because we already knew that mel martinez was going to leave at the end of 2010, and of course as i said, the governor himself is going to run for that seat.
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right now, he is the front-runner for that seat. charlie crist has had great fund-raising success early on. so, right now the numbers won't change, but you will hear this cry from democrats nationally now. they're going to say that the likes of mel martinez, sarah palin, and others are leaving their jobs early. so, expect to hear that in the next few days. >> why wouldn't charlie crist name himself and run for the seat that's going to be open in 2010 next year as the incumbent? >> you know, there's really no reason for him to do so, wolf. he is the front runner right now if you were to talk to political analysts, he's raised a considerable some of money and the fact is there would be considerable backlash against charlie crist if he decided to say, look, i'm going to leave florida right now, especially a state that is crippled right now by the housing problem and foreclosures and what have you, i'm going to leave and try to run for the senate. it would look too opportunistic. >> thanks very much. john quincy adams has more than 9,000 followers on twitter. you heard it right.
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the massachusetts historians are re-creating his short daily diary updates as tweets 200 years later after realizing the nation's sixth president was ahead of his time. let's go to abbi tatton. why is this on twitter? >> reporter: wolf, just look at one of these daily diary entries from john quincy adams. they're short and sweet. here's one of them. "up great part of the night, wife and child sick, saw nothing, calm day." at 111 characters, it's fairly mundane. does it remind you of anything? well, researchers at the massachusetts historical society recently went through all of these diary updates and they realized it looks like john quincy adams was twittering, so they're re-creating these once a day, blasting them out on twitter 200 years later. >> is that a correct term, twittering? i thought it was tweeting. >> look, i just got corrected by wolf blitzer. >> make sure we don't get any
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angry tweets as a result of that. what was he up to 200 years ago? >> well, this was before he was president with 1809 and he was traveling to russia to be the first u.s. ambassador. so, these tweets are re-creating the journey he was taking starting august 5th, set sail from charlestown, then he had more than 50 days at sea with his wife, and so the tweets are coming in from that journey. he saw a whale at one point. a little bit later it seems that everyone got seasick. you see frequent updates like mrs. adams ill all day. and then finally in object they reached st. petersburg, but it seems without their baggage. our baggage still has not come from goldstat. some things never change. now, this has got a huge amount of buzz online even though it is fairly geeky. it's a big following. john quincy adams a big following on twitter, something i never thought i'd say. >> interesting.
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great. thanks very much, abbi, for that. all right. we're getting a story that's just coming in to "the situation room." let's go back to don for some details. wlar we learning? >> reporter: interesting information about billy mays, the pitch man, his death. this is according to the associated press, woflg, just coming in. we're being told from the associated press that the autopsy for tv pitchman billy mays finds he had cocaine in his system that contributed to his sudden death. again, i'm just getting the wires here, wolf. they say the 50-year-old bearded tv personality died of a heart attack in his sleep. his wife found him unresponsive on june 28th in their condo. but again, according to the associated press, they're saying that an autopsy report says cocaine contributed to the death of tv pitchman billy mays. as soon as i get more information on that, if we get more results from that autopsy, wolf, we'll bring it to you right here. >> all right. thanks very much, don, for that. in our "strategy session," president obama says the economy
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is on its way back. >> today we're pointed in the right direction. we're losing jobs at less than half the rate we were when i took office. we pulled the financial system back from the brink. >> but is he taking credit too soon? that's coming up. plus, death by a drone. the taliban may have lost its leader in pakistan. what would this mean for the war in afghanistan? chris lawrence will report. quality and reliability...
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for people with diabetes, like me. now that's a true american value. accu-chek® aviva. born in the u.s.a. president obama says today's new jobs numbers show there is, quoting now, light at the end of the tunnel on the economy. but will an economic turnaround mean a turnaround in his poll numbers as well? we'll talk about that and more in our "strategy session." former communications director for the dnc, karen finney and republican strategist, frank donatelli. guys, thanks very much for coming in. is his plan working, frank? >> well, listen, we all hope that the economy is turning around, wolf, and it's gratifying that the number is -- the unemployment number is slightly lower this month. i do say, though, that the biggest problem still is job
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creation. and as long as the president continues to pursue a policy of higher taxes and higher employer mandates on potential -- on the private sector, i think job creation is going to lag. >> it's way too early to declare mission accomplished, karen, isn't it? >> absolutely. i mean, look, i think the president and the administration across the board has really been trying to strike that balance between, you know, being sort of cautiously optimistic and stressing that if we are nearing -- you know, we are in the beginning potentially of the end, we are nowhere near the end, but then also recognizing, you know, we can have these discussions about, you know, sort of various economic indicator, but until people, you know, in their daily lives when you're talking about places like columbus, ohio, or greens borough, north carolina, until people there really feel it, it's not time to pop the champagne open. >> but everyone seems to agree, frank, and let me get your thoughts, it was only a few months ago that the economy seemed to be at the abyss,
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potentially as grave as the depression of the 1930s. but all of that talk has now gone away. >> well, and that's a good thing. i mean, some people were talking about that. that's true. i guess the question i would ask is what specifically has the administration done policywise to have seen that happen? i would argue that the economy just as a natural strength and its rebounding. but when you talk about canceling the bush tax cuts, when you talk about higher fees and taxes for energy and health care legislation, that's not a good policy to be pursued. >> obviously, you know i'm going to disagree with that, wolf. i mean, look, the recovery package did a lot to start to put money back into the economy. a lot of company, frankly, who started to move forward with some of their plans, knowing that moneys would be coming in more towards the fourth quarter. the administration -- we had the
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housing crisis to deal with, the banking crisis, regulatory reform, and frankly the president was right to take an approach but it also looks at health care as part of the economic problem we're facing. part of what we're talking about in reforms would not just help the uninsured and lower costs for rest of us but also think about small businesses, where 80 perles of the jobs come from. >> i want to read to you what peggy noonan writes in today's "wall street journal." she said democrats are looking dres des pratt, specifically the white house. >> yeah. >> they thought to think about backing off. the president should cull kaul in his troops and his congress and announce a rethinking. there are too many different bills, they're all a thousand pages long, no one has time to read them, nobody know what is's going on, and who knows what will be in the final one, the public is agitated and in crisis. is she right? >> when i first started to read that story, i thought she was talking tact republicans because the gop made it clear months ago that their strategy would be, in the words of mr. demint, to try
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to create a waterloo and create a distraction, rather than be constructive and come to the table with ideas. i think we're seeing that bear itself out at these town hall meetings, and these groups that are being disrupt rif funded by right-wing groups and insurance companies. it's clear what the strategy is. >> the president was hired to fix the economy, wolf. he thought not to turn our country into france. the president's program is clear now. a huge expansion of the private sector and public sector, strong labor unions and high unemployment. i think americans are rightly rebelled against that. and when you want to talk about private interests funding various campaigns, it's the drug companies that are doing that in favor of health care reform. >> we're not going to get into that right now. karen, hold your thought because we have to leave it there. we're out of time. all right. >> we veal you both back. thank you.
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a first lady moves out on her cheating husband. new developments in a very public marital drama. for south carolina governor mark sanford. plus, the apparent death of a top taliban commander, how important is it? i'll speak with the former head of the u.s. military central command. so what do you think? i think i'll go with the basic package. good choice. only meineke lets you choose the brake service that's right for you. and save 50% on pads and shoes. meineke.
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9 in news from our political ticker, mark sanford ears wife
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says she's moving out of the mansion. she and the couple's four boys will move back to their home near charleston for the upcoming school year. the move is being taken in the interest of the boys and the couples's, quote, process of reconciliation monopoly in june, sanford admitted to carrying on a long-running affair from with a woman from argentina. jarr jarr jarron. graham paul wants to follow in his father's footsteps and run for the kentucky seat being retired by jim bunning. like his father, paul is seen as a strict constitutionalist. appearing on cnn's "american morning" he says he's particularly concerned about the nation's debt. former notre dame football coach lou holtz is shooting down rumors he wants to run for congress. republicans said holtz was considering challenging a democratic freshman from central florida where holtz has a home, but holtz tells cnn fi affiliate
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nbu that he wants to focus on his job as an analyst and doesn't want to run. new york congresswoman carolyn maloney says she will not take on senator kirsten gillibrand in the state's democratic primary. gillibrand was apointed to fill the seat vacated by hillary clinton when she became the secretary of state. remember, for the latest political news anytime, you can always check out let's go to jack cafferty for "the cafferty file." jack? question this hour, wolf, is whether or not these increasingly loud and violent town hall protests will succeed eventually in killing health care reform.
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i had a broken leg and two cancer surgeries that would have cost me over $50,000 and i never paid a cent. my taxes stayed the same, too. grow up, america. corey writes -- mary ann writes --
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and frank in philadelphia says -- if you didn't see your e-mail here, go to my blog at and look for yours there. mr. blitzer. >> thank you, jack. to our viewers, you're in "the situation room." happening now, student are heading back to school and they want to head off major problems with the swine flu. a drug lord still in business and business is booming. one of the world's most wanted men also on the list of one of the world's wealthiest. and starting over. their old jobs are gone forever. how laid-off autoworkers are trying to build new lives. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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they think they got him. u.s. officials are increasingly confident that a top taliban chief was killed by a u.s. missile strike in pakistan. his terror rap sheet is a long one and the death of baitullah mesud would have a significant impact for pakistan and for the u.s. war in afghanistan. our pentagon correspondent chris lawrence has been looking into all of this. he's got some more. chris, what's the latest? >> reporter: well, wolf, for folks at home who have never heard of this name or wonder why it matters, u.s. officials say although mesud was the head of the taliban in pakistan, he had a huge influence in coordinating attacks on american troops in afghanistan. a bomb ripped apart the marriott hotel in islamabad. pakistan's former prime minister, benazir bhutto, assassinated on the street. in some attacks on american soldiers in afghanistan. a u.s. counterterrorism official blames baitullah mesud for all of it.
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>> this is an individual whose title as a murderous thug was well deserved. >> reporter: in march, the u.s. put a $5 million bounty on his head. a senior defense official says mesud was watched long enough to develop a pattern of his activity. and there is growing confidence mesud was killed in an air strike within the region of south waziristan. president obama has authorized nearly as many unmanned drone strikes in six months as president bush did all last year. i asked a defense official, will this strike give the u.s. leeway to conduct more? he told me -- >> certain officials within the pentagon will begin telling the obama administration this may not an be an excellent strategy considering we must win hearts and minds of this region. >> the analyst says pakistan
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still sees the taliban as two groups, good and bad. >> the good taliban being the militant who is pour over the border and attack u.s. troops in afghanistan and those that tie down indian troops in kashmir. the bad attack the pakistani military. >> reporter: she says the u.s. needs to keep cooperating with pakistan but realize that this one strike on mesud does not mean that all of america's enemies are pakistan's enemy too. >> chris lawrence at the pentagon for us. we'll have much more on the fight against the taliban, what's going on in afghanistan. i'll be speaking with a retired u.s. marine corps general anthony zinny, the former commander of the u.s. military's central command. that's coming up this hour. journalists laura ling and euna lee report they were treated humanely in north korea and they believe that their medical conditions may have kept them from being sent to hard labor camps. that comes from ling's sister who spoke to cnn's "american morning."
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>> we know for certain that laura and euna never intended to cross the border when they left u.s. soil. >> right. >> and laura is actually very eager to tell the story of what actually happened. and i want to let her to do so. but right now she's really just getting reactly mated. the process has been slow, and, you know, she's still very, very weak. but she is very anxious to tell the story. >> lisa ling also tells cnn her sister was allowed to call the family four times during her months in captivity, and on the last call specifically requested that president clinton intervene. and he did and he brought those two women back to the united states. let's go to jack cafferty right now for "the cafferty file." apparently, bill clinton was the only guy they would settle for in north korea. they wanted him to show up over there, i guess, for the publicity and the street kred they get for -- >> that's what it took to get them out of there. >> nice move. all right. americans, this is actually not that surprising, americans
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are not as open to immigration as they have been in recent years. a new gallup poll says half chose surveyed says immigration should be decreased, up from 39% who felt that way just a year ago. today's attitudes are similar to how the public felt during the first few years following the 9/11 attacks. beliefs that had softened some since 2006. the poll also shows 58% of americans say that immigration is a good thing for this country and that's the lowest percentage who have felt that way since 2003. americans in the south are more anti-immigration than in other areas, although all parts of the country are moving now in the same direction on this. meanwhile, a group of illinois congressmen recently wrote a letter to president obama asking him to work on immigration reform this year. just what he needs, to undertake immigration reform.
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he doesn't have enough to do. they want a law to help keep immigrant families together, protect workers and provide what they call safe migration opportunities. considering the mood of the country right now and the fact that millions of americans are out of work, it might be a tall order to gin up a lot of sympathy for the millions of illegal aliens in this country. here's the question. go to and post a comment on my blog. >> jobs? >> i would guess that's got a lot to do with it and just the general competition for whatever services are available. >> tough economic times. jack, thank you. >> so, maybe we don't have to do the e-mail. >> we do. that's just me. one viewer. >> okay. students start heading back to school and government disease fighters are issuing new recommendations for dealing with the expected resurgence of swine flu. our senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen has the details. elizabeth? >> reporter: wolf, as any parent
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or teacher knows, schools can be germ pits. today the centers for disease control offered guidelines on how to keep kids safe during swine flu season. it's the first week of classes at freedom middle school in canton, georgia, and principal karen holly has the hand sanitizer ready. >> we really wanted to make sure that we were doing everything to protect our students and our employees. >> reporter: schools around the country are preparing for swine flu. some 700 schools closed down last spring because of h1n1 outbreaks. friday, the centers for disease control issued these guidelines for schools. students who have had h1n1 should only return to school when they've been fever free for 24 hours. schools should encourage hand washing and res rest pra toir et kwet, meaning coffering or sneezing into your sleeve. also, it'll be up to schools to decide if they want to close down. at the cdc news conference, they made it clear schools should do
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what they can to stay open. >> and it is now clear that closure of schools is rarely indicated, even if h1n1 is in the school. >> reporter: at freedom middle school, they already know what to do if a child becomes sick at school. >> the first thing would be to ask them to come into my office and i would shut them in my office, and then i would use the phone from the front desk and they would lay here until their parent comes to pick them up. >> they hope isolation, diligent hand washing, and scrupulous disinfection will keep the virus at bay. >> if we were thinking of closing the school, we would certainly look to see that at least 10% to 20% of our population was out. >> at this school, that would mean about 100 kids sick with h1n1. the federal government hopes the vaccine will be available by mid-october and school children are at the top of the list to get it. >> we have to prepare for the worst because we don't know how bad this is going to be. >> these are the groups that will be first in line to get the swine flu vaccine when it comes out in this fall.
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the reasons for these groups is these folks are especially at risk for having complications from h1n1. wolf? >> elizabeth, thanks for that report. the u.s. has put a $5 million price tag on his head but that's pocket change for this fugitive domestic and drug lord. one of the world's most wanted men, also one of the world's richest. we have an extraordinary report coming up from cnn's michael ware in mexico city wp. plus, a health care town hall turns ugly. these days, wouldn't it be great
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the report better than expected. 247,000 americans lost their jobs last month, and that's the smallest number of layoffs in a year. the jobless rate fell a tenth of a point to 9.4%. president obama was quick to hail the improvement. >> today, we're pointed in the right direction. we're losing jobs at less than half the rate we were when i took office. we've pulled the financial system back from the brink ina&
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rising market is restoring value to those 401(k)s that are the foundation of retirement. >> michigan's the highest mainly due to the sagging auto industry. now many laid-off workers are trying to get retrained for other jobs. cnn's sandra endo takes us through that process from detroit. sandra? >> reporter: wolf, tens of thousands of autoworkers who are out of a job are assembling a different type of line, one focused on changing their careers. but will there be a paycheck at the end? >> this doesn't look like your conventional wind turbine. >> this is where ken sees his future, in renewable energy. but walk with him to his driveway. that's where his real love is parked. >> yeah. this is a very important part of my life. >> reporter: cars. he's worked in the auto industry for eight years. far long time with general motors. but like tens of thousands of other autoworkers, ken was laid off a year ago and his first worry was getting health care
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for his wife and two kids. >> because i had a feeling that this was going to be bad, and i was right. it was real bad. >> reporter: they get my bion his unemployment and his wife oes job working at a veterinarian hospital, but with few jobs available in the auto industry, ken's being forced to switch gears. >> i just figured it was time i got to learn something else because the whole industry is going to change and it's going to stay changed. >> reporter: ken applied to michigan's no worker left behind program, which helps retrain the unemployed by sending them back to school. he's taking classes in renewable technology. is the stuff you're learning now, though, something that interests you, or you're just doing it to get a paycheck down the road? >> you know, at first it might have been just a new career to earn a steady check, but when you learn more about it, especially with stuff that could relate to cars, it does interest me more. >> reporter: ken is one of more than 81,000 in the retraining program which started two years ago. it's in high demand with the state with the nation's highest
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unemployment rate. there's a at least a month waiting list to get in. this this community college is where ken got his first degree in petals 24 years ago. i will's take you to where his retraining program first started. linda oversees this bustling job center. people are working on resumes and attending job training workshops. >> these are the five. >> reporter: more than a million resumes are posted on the state's online talent bank with only around 20,000 available jobs. the state's retraining program will pay up to two years or $10,000 for schooling in emerging fields, but there's no guaranteed job. the bottom line is there are no jobs, not enough jobs for everyone who's looking for one. >> the economy will change. the economy will turn around. and there are jobs available. you just have to be willing to get retrained and look at yourself differently. >> fire that one up. >> reporter: competition for jobs will still be a reality for
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many people like ken. >> he knew he had to make a change. it was not going to be status quo. >> reporter: and is ken's story so much like a lot of these people that are coming in day in and day out? >> very, very typical. >> reporter: state officials say they're planning to keep the no worker left behind program up and running indefinitely. and they're asking congress for nearly $60 million in more funding to help combat their unemployment. wolf? >> reporter: >> sandra endo reporting from detroit. thank you. he's at war with mexican authorities, and the u.s. has offered a huge reward for him. but the fugitive drug lord remains in business, and business is booming. his personal net worth is over a billion dollars. cnn's michael ware has this story from mexico city. >> reporter: this man makes a living mockery of america's war on drugs. he is joaquin el chapo guzman, one of the world's richest men and mexico's most wanted.
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with a $5 million u.s. government bounty on his head. >> he is the face, he is the guy who is currently at war against the government of mexico, against law enforcement and military forces. >> reporter: at war because el chapo heads the ultraviolent, ultralucrative sina low wa drug cartel, his exploits legendary. el chapo guzman, he's like a god in mexico, says antonio ortega. nobody sees him but he's everywhere. he's a myth. criminal lawyer antonio ortega is one of the very few mexicans daring enough to speak of el chapo on camera. having met the man himself while he was here in a prison before el chapo escaped in 2001. when you sit with him, says ortega, you see a human contradiction. "you see a strong man, intelligent and sensitive at the same time," ortega told me in
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this mexico city park. "you don't see a narco trafficker. you don't see a killer or assassin. he doesn't have scars. he doesn't have that funny face. he doesn't have it. he looks at you deeply, at the eyes, like an x-ray machine. he can look right inside." and his prison life, says the lawyer, was the stuff of legend. 19 days before his escape, el chapo hosted a new year's eve party with another cartel boss. "there was a band playing. there were ladies. there was alcohol, all the best brands," ortega told me. "it was like a party in one of the best clubs in manhattan." >> he has that robin hood persona in that he's constantly attending to the poor, the needs of the poor and the people that surround him. >> reporter: on the run, el chapo's business has continued to flourish, and investigators say his orders followed. ten months ago, this mutilated body appeared outside a mexican
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police station. the message hanging over his corpse signed in el chapo's name. many mexicans believer el chapo's whereabouts are a known mystery. in april, this catholic archbishop pronounced everybody knows his whereabouts except the authorities, claiming he's in these mountains in the country's north not far from the u.s. border. el chapo's exploits continue to undermine mexican president felipe caldron, especially when "forbes" magazine named el chapo 701st on the world's rich list with a net worth of nearly $1 billion. we deeply regret this. first from public opinion and now even magazines, which are not only attacking and lying about the situation but are also praising criminals. this from a president who upped
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the ante in the drug war, sending over 40,000 mexican army soldiers into the streets of his own cities in a bid to crush the cartels. a bid back by u.s. president barack obama. >> it's important that the united states steps up and cooperates effectively in battling the adverse effects of drug trafficking. >> reporter: that was back in june. since then, the slaugter in mexico has continued and el chapo's drugs have continued to pour into america. all the while, with el chapo guzman remaining the face of an apparently unwinnable drug war on america's border. mark ware, cnn, mexico city. >> an eerie connection between the gunman who opened fire at a suburban pittsburgh gym and the men behind two other masked shootings. what all three had in common. and who was behind the attack on twitter that left
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don lemon is monitoring other stories. what's going on? >> we want to update our viewers on this story. eunice kennedy shriver is in critical condition at a massachusetts hospital. a statement released by the family says the 88-year-old shriver is surrounded by her husband, five children, and grandchildren as well as her son-in-law, california governor arnold schwarzenegger. in addition to being the sister of president kennedy and senator ted kennedy, eunice kennedy shriver is the founder and honorary chairman of the special olympics. the gunman who killed three women at a suburban pittsburgh gym earlier this week bought gun accessories from the same company that sold weapons to the men who went on a deadly shooting sprees at virginia tech and northern illinois university. the president of tgscom, incorporated, says he purchased a magazine and magazine loader from one of is sites his companies operates.
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the first family is making a trip out west next week. the white house says president barack obama, the first lady, michelle obama, and daughter mas leah and sasha will visit yellowstone national park, grand junction, phoenix, arizona. the first family's trip is meant to encourage visits to national parks. but the president is also expected to hold some town hall meetings during his travels, wolf. that is called what i would say is a working vacation and we're all too familiar with those around. >> little business with pleasure. very good. don't take a private vacation, just a little vacation at the end of the month. thank you. a disturbing mystery in south florida, the brutal slaughter of horses. we're taking a closer look at what may be behind this alarming development. from the release of the two american journalists from north korea to a supreme court nominee's confirmation, the big week for president obama. we're going to get democratic strategist paul begala and republican strategist leslie
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sanchez, get their take on how the president fared. and secretary of state hillary clinton shows off some dance steps during her visit to kenya. is it a sign she's in a comfort zone? mr. evans? this is janice from onstar. i have received an automatic signal you've been in a front-end crash. do you need help? yeah. i'll contact emergency services and stay with you. you okay? yeah. onstar. standard for one year on 14 chevy models. this is my verizon small business specialist, tom. now, i know the catering business but when i walked in here i wasn't sure what i needed. i'm not sure what i need. tom showed me how to use mifi to get my whole team working online, on location. i was like, "woah". woah ! only verizon wireless has small business specialists in every store to help you do business better.
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you're in "the situation room." happening now, an equipment failure that may have played a deadly roll in an air france crash and has occurred recently on at least a dozen other airbus a-330 jets. how widespread is the problem? and are airline passengers in danger right now? alabama's largest county is in a deep financial hole causing budget cuts that the local sheriff says could allow criminals to run free. a closer look at what's happening in a spoeshl broken government report. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." government report. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." democratic lawmakers are being hounded by protesters as they try to hold their town hall health care meetings, but occasionally these events can go off without a hitch. cnn's mary snow tracked down two of these meetings and is here to tell us what she found. what did you learn? >> wolf, we took a look at one in maryland, one in florida, one
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set apart because it didn't end in shouting matches, the other stands out because it was so raucous. in tampa thursday, democratic congresswoman kathy pastor tried to talk health care reform over the shouting. >> we're not going to stand for this anymore. >> but then quickly turned ugly. get off of me! >> castor was eventually escorted out and in the end left participants frustrated. >> they think they're exercising their right to free speech, but they're only exercising their right to disrupt civil discourse. >> somewhere in the screaming back and forth, no one got hurt. >> in another meeting in maryland it took off a different tone. >> what i'm going to ask you to do, though, is that you have to be respectful. >> reporter: democratic congresswoman donna edwards fielded questions from a mostly democratic crowd, but it was not without critics, including one man who argued the similar isn't broken. >> there's a difference between broken and tweaking it. there's a small number of people
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in this country that are uninsured. >> the fact of the matter is that, while the system may not appear broken to you at suburban hospital, it is broken for millions of americans. >> reporter: as these forums draw attention, participants are receiving detailed instructions of how to act at the town hall meeting. responding to right-wing attacks in the field, reads this e-mail from a group supportive of the president's health care reform plan. bring more people than the other side has to drown them out, it says. on the right, rocking the town hall's best practices is the title of this circulating memo from a conservative activist, informing people to watch for an opportunity to yell out to challenge the rep's statementings estatements early. it's another for one democratic congressman to say he's going to hold his town hall meeting by telephone. >> he did not want to see this kind of mob action we've seen thus far on either side and i think it's time for cooler heads to say let's settle down and have respectful differences of
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opinion. >> congress the the congressman there you just saw from washington state is no stranger to town hall meetings. he says he's held more than 300 of them many the past ten years. but now he says he's received some death treat threats. he thinks right now he can reach more people through telephone hall meetings. >> death threats. >> he says he's received them and other members of congress have received them. >> wow. that's getting way, way too far out. thanks very much. the health care debate is just getting started. how bad can all this town hall situation really get? let's talk about with cnn political contributor and democratic strategist paul begala along with republican strategist leslie sanchez. guys, thanks very much for coming in. how worried are you about what's going to happen over the next few weeks at these town halls, paul? >> look, there is real opposition to the president's health care reform. it's the hardest domestic issue except for race, the hardest domestic issue i think in the last 75 years. i think the problem becomes, as you saw in mary's piece, when
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people take dissent, their right at citizens, always patriotic, but then they take it beyond the limit which is they use that to kren krur sensor pooerm. that's where it goes too far and i think it's sort of self-def t self-defeating, frankly. i think the republican conservative strategists putting out these instructions to go and disrupt other people's right for free speech are really hurting their own cause, frankly. >> is there going to be a backlash against the republicans, leslie? >> no. i think that -- le obesity very clear. let's frame this accurately. there's mud on both sides. you definitely have a.c.o.r.n., some of the unions organizing these efforts, the dnc has put out papers and talking points. this is not some right-wing conspiracy. these are americans using social media to get access to information to understand in some cases more than these legislators do about the health care and the ramifications. what's interesting is, you know,
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we have counseled -- paul and i working with members of congress, you go out in these recesses, you have town halls and it's usually a one-way dialogue. i'm telling you what's happening in washington. what has changed now, especially if you talk to places like mediahese social mark have engaged, who have an opinion, hand but they want to be heard. >> why does it -- paul, as long as it doesn't get out of handle, it's okay. >> that's exactly right. but this is where -- i have to tell you, leslie is not being fair. the conservative strategists have put out these memos saying to disrupt, to interrupt. i advise one of those unions, at least the service employees union, i can tell you i'm certain they are not telling people to interrupt or disrupt or shout down their member of congress. they want to show support for the president's plan, that's good, opponents want to show opposition, that's great, that's good too. that's democracy. it's the only line that my
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freedom to swing my fist stop where is your nose begins. i'm a first amendment absolutist. >> with respect to the service employees union, let's also look at the fact that these folks are stacking if the rooms in some cases. >> of course they are. >> this is all campaign tactics. >> right. >> cutting your teeth, 101. i do say it is organic the sense that you have people who are getting that information that normally wouldn't have it. and you can light a match but there has to be gasoline, there has to be intensity there. >> let me make a sharp turn to hillary clinton because she's in kenya, she was in kenya, and we have a video of her doing something unusual. watch this. all right. so, we don't have any music, but we do have the pictures. she was doing a pretty good job there. she seems to be really coming out on our own as secretary of state, the nation's top diplomat, paul. what do you think? >> i've got to say i love it. and that shows you my total bias
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toward hillary, who i love. when i saw george w. bush dancing with folks from africa, i was appalled. so i'm a bit of a hypocrite. i'm biased. i love her. she's not only strong and smart, scheck get down and get funky but i have a double standard. >> last night we did our national report card and nobody got great-great but hillary clinton got the best of the grade. she did better than the president, better than the democrats in congress, better than the news media. she got a c-plus, which is pretty good, certainly if you're grading by a curve. >> grading by curve. i couldn't get by with a c-plus, but isle take that. as someone who has been a strong critic long time of hillary clinton, i do want to say, what's remarkable about this is this is somebody who was almost to the point of being president of the united states. i like that she has a personality. i like she was on a campaign drinking beer with the reporters. but look at the dils tings of the secretary of state when compared to somebody like john foster dulles, somebody that had
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prowess, power, influence. you don't see that anymore. you don't see the stature of a henry kissinger. you see dancing. that juxtaposition i think makes it difficult in the long run. >> give her some time. she's only been in office a few months. we'll see how she does as she compares with john foster dull lus. >> i've danced with hillary. she's a great dancer. she can cut a rug. >> when he went in that diplomat iqbal room at the state department, he wowed everyone. >> there you go. there you go. >> where should michael jackson be buried? the king of pop's brother jermaine jackson talks about his wishes and draws some comparisons to elvis presley. and retired u.s. general tony zinny, the former commander of the u.s. military central command talks about fighting the taliban, but he also was supposed to become the u.s. ambassador to iraq. what happened? >> i kind of feel like charlie
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a u.s. missile strike is believed to have killed a top commander in pakistan. baitullah mesud is suspected of having a role in the assassination of benazir bhutto. what would his death mean for al qaeda and the taliban? and joining us now, general anthony zinny, former commander of the u.s. military central command retired u.s. marine four-star general, the author of a brand-new book entitled "leading the charge: leadership lessons from the bloomfield to the boardroom." we'll talk about those lessons in a few moments, general. thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you for having me, wolf. >> is this apparent assassination, this targeted killing of the taliban leader in pakistan, baitullah mesud, is that a big deal or a little deal? >> that's a big deal. the operations that the pakistan military conducted, there have been some comments about the leadership of the taliban fading
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back in the mountains, and they're not really getting the key people. so, this is a major i think positive for their operations and for the effect on the taliban and their ability to conduct counteroperations on the pakistani military. >> because obviously the taliban will name someone else to be in charge. would that new person step up? >> well, it's problematic as to whether they could fill the same shoes. mesud was well-known and regarded in the ranks of the taliban as a key leader. so, i don't think you're going to see an immediate impact that -- effectively counters the operations. i think it's going to be negative on the taliban. >> do you like what you're seeing in pakistan right now? the pakistani military, apparently the intelligence services taking the offensive and going directly at the taliban? >> i do. i think the taliban overplayed their hand. the people of pakistan were upset at the atrocities and what they were doing in the swat
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vall valley, and now they support and are fully behind the pakistani military as is the media and the government has gotten a little determination there now, and it looks like they want to see it through. i would caution one thing. if they're going to have to stay up in those areas which they will for a while and garrison the military, repair those villages, bring thome those displaced persons, it's going to cost. and their economy is not in great shape so, i think it's incumbent upon the international community to help support the post operations become more important in the end. >> good point. what about an-in afghanistan? do you like what you're seeing there? because there are reports that the military desperately wants some more troops beyond the 68,000 that the u.s. already is committed to. would that be wise to send even more troops into afghanistan right now? >> honestly, i think we're going to need more troops. but i really would like to see nato step up more to this commitment. you know, there's just a few of the nato countries that have really committed troops to the fight. we obviously have the brits and
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the canadians, the dutch and now the french, but there are a lot more country, and i think more troops, but we also put pressure on making them just not u.s. troops. >> and hamid karzai is up for re-election, has the election coming up in a few weeks. is he moving in the right direction or the wrong direction? >> well, i think there's been some problems with his governance. there's been charges of corruption and croneyism and other things in there. i think it's important for him should he be re-elected and it looks that way that he clean that up because it's important to build that kind of faith out in the country side in the government in kabul. and if we're going to buy time with the commitment of our troops, the three or whatever years necessary to build security forces, the confidence is not only going to have to be in their capability but in the ability of the government to deal to the people what they expect. >> how confident are you, general, that there will eventually be a stable and democratic iraq following the withdrawal of all u.s. forces? >> i'm more confident now than
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i've ever been. i still think there are still challenges out there, but dave petraeus, ryan crocker, ray ordierno have done a magnificent job. i was out there a few months ago and went around and talked to iraqis in the streets and to the ministries and our own troops and i think we're leaving it in about as good a situation as it possibly could be. it's up to the iraqi government right now. what i heard from the street is they want their government to be able to deliver the essential services, the electricity, to pick up the garbage, make the sewage system run. i want to be governed in the right way. i want to have a say in what goes on. and the first election this year went off very well. there's two more. if we get the kind of turnout and the positive results and the government can deliver, then i think we're on the right track. it's going to be i think a close thing over the next year. they are learning how to govern, how to administer, allocate resources, build program, and i would like to see an addition to
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our security assistance some assistance in helping that government learn how to do these sort of administrative things necessary to really bring the people around. >> early on, when the obama administration came into power, you were told you were going to be the united states ambassador to iraq and then all of a sudden someone else was named ambassador to iraq. do you understand even now these many months later what happened? >> no, i don't. i kind of feel like charlie brown and i went to kick the football and lucy pulled it away. so, i don't know what happened to this day. >> give me a lesson from the battlefield to the boardroom that's really useful right now. >> well, i think critically right now is that the new leadership, regardless of what field of endeavor, has to understand this very changed and changing world. it moves a lot faster. we have technology improvements. we have crises and rising powers, migrations of people, globalization. so many impacts on everything we do in life. and i think the critical point that i make in the book is you
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better understand the world and adapt to it, whether you're in business or whether you're on a battlefield somewhere. >> you have a lot more good lessons in the new book, as well. "leading the charge: leadership lessons from the battlefield to the boardroom." general zinni, thank you very much. were millions of web users paralyzed because of a hacker attack targeting one person? according to a spokesperson, it was a political attack on a blogger in the republic of georgia. let's bring in our internet reporter abbi tatton. who is this guy? >> reporter: a 34-year-old we know just as george and somebody really wanted to shut him up. according to facebook, it was his account targeted yesterday. he's a pro georgia blocker in tib lee see. it may be his recent blog posts on subjects like accusing russians of military aggression against georgia that might have irritated some. the georgian government said
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there are suspicious that the attack came from within russia and it coincides with the one-year anniversary of the georgia/russian conflict. >> if this one guy was the target, how did the whole situation get so messed up? >> because he had so many accounts. he had accounts on facebook, on twitter, on live journal, youtube, and according to facebook's chief security officer, the hackers in a massive coordinated attack went after all of them all at once in attempt to silence him and ended up temporarily silencing millions of people. twitter said today that this was a geopolitical motivation, but they wouldn't speck late on any more than that. wolf? >> abbi, thanks very much. back to business, though, today pap shocking story from south florida. horses stolen and butchered alive. what police think is behind these blew brooual acts. a disturbing new report about u.s. airliners experiencing technical malfunction. why aviation authorities may soon issue an order. eseseseseses
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. now to a chilling mystery? south florida. someone is slaughtering horses.
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they are offering a $5,000 reward leading to information to the person that is responsible. we must warn you that some of these images are disturbing. >> reporter: the dirt road leads away from the ten-acre pass tour where yvonne rodriguez last saw her horse alive. at the end of the road next to a palm tree is where geronimo was found, what was left of him. rodriguez got the call from her dad. he said, don't come, because it's not very nice. geronimo had been slaughtered. >> not only was my horse stolen, he was butchered. they tied him to a palm tree. >> all of these were blood stains. >> from up here to down there,
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geronimo, if he had an apple in your hand, he was your best friend. >> reporter: the meat had been carved from his bones. >> this is part of his main? >> yep, it is. >> reporter: animal rights say this is part of a black market for horse meat in south florida. richard examines the remains of another horse. >> i found a puncture wound. the horse bled out. it took a while for this horse to die. in more cases than not, the horses are actually butchered alive. >> reporter: since the first of the year, 17 horses have been found butchered in miami-dade and two more in broward. they have seen cases of horses slaughtered for the meat in the past but nothing to this level. police can't confirm a black market exists. they are pretty sure these horse killings were motivated by this.
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>> it appears that the offenders' goal was not the killing of the animal but whatever activity they were engalg engae engaged in poet more tem. >> reporter: a delicacy in some caribbean and latin-american nations. they say the buyers are paying a lot for meat that can make them sick. >> these animals and horses see veterinarians on a monthly basis. they are being pumped with all kinds of drugs, antibiotics, steroids, tranquilizers. >> reporter: the horse he examined had been led from the stall and killed a few feel away. it's foal left in the next stall was unharmed. they are professional the way they do it. >> this is part of the tarp they cover them with.
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>> reporter: the illegal buying and selling of horse meat has gone on for years in south florida. no one has figured out why the sudden uptick. they call it florida's dirty little secret. it's a secret no more. a new twist in the death of tv pitch man, billy mays. an autopsy report says an illegal drug played a role. the brother of michael jackson gives his first interview since his younger brother's memorial. ( car door closes ) ooooch! hot seat! hot! hot! hot! time to check your air conditioning? come to meineke now and get a free ac system check. at meineke, you're always the driver. five co-workers are working from the road using a mifi, a mobile hotspot that provides up to five shared wifi connections. two are downloading the final final revised final presentation. - one just got an e-mail. - what?! - huh? - it's being revised again. the co-pilot is on mapquest. - ( rock music playing ) - and tom is streaming meeting psych-up music
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from that's happening now with the new mifi from sprint, the mobile hotspot that fits in your pocket. sprint. the now network. deaf, hard of hearing and people with speech disabilities access
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michael jackson's brother, jermaine, is speaking up for the first time since his brother's memorial service. he talks about where he wants the sinlgger to be buried. >> i want him at neverland. and there is a question. >> she is your mother, can't you say, hey, mom? >> there are like so many. >> what does your mother say? does she give you any hint? >> i am most concerned about security and him being secured
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in a peaceful setting. >> they had to move presley's body to graceland. i am most concerned about that. at the end of the day, she will make the final decision. >> you can see the entire interview later tonight on cnn's "larry king live." >> i wonder when they will get around to burying him. >> they have to finish the autopsy. the question this hour are why are americans tougher on immigration now than they were a year ago. richard in kansas, we are having trouble enough to take care of our own citizens. we can no longer afford to take care of the world's masses. illegal immigrants are the main problem. they come at cheap labor and we should round them up and send them home. bill in michigan, it's pretty simple from a historical perspective. when times get tough and jobs get tight, shut the door behind you and blame the newest guy trying to get in. it is best to generate fear as a
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nativeist and forget the fact that he is self-motivated, pays taxes in a consumer driven economy and mums the word about grandpa sneaking in here from ireland. if it wasn't for him, we wouldn't be here either. maria in california, americans are sick of paying out billions of dollars for services and benefits to people who aren't supposed to be here. when i needed services, i was told i with qualify for more help if i was here illegally and had kids. in california, everything is being cut due to the budget but illegal alien services, including health care, housing, food stamps, education, et cetera, are saved. bob writes, i'm a bit confused. why are we referring to immigration reform as though it is not a violation of our federal laos. these are illegal aliens who come into the u.s. illegally. this should affect those who
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come in legal will i. perhaps we should ignore other federal laos, like paying taxes. try unemployment, my son got laid off twice in the last year. we see illegal immigrants taking jobs from people like him. i believe in the american dream but it has to be done correctly. wolf? >> thank you. happening now, it could give every plane passenger chills. a report says that on several recent plane trips, there were serious equipment failures. what reportedly happened may have happened on a plane that recently crashed into the atlantic ocean. blood, sweat, and tears, hillary clinton talks about surviving incoming fire on the war over health care reform and predicts how the current battle might end up. a shocking development involving the death of tv pitch man, billy mays. officials revealing something
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contributing to his death, cocaine. i am wolf blitzer. you are in "the situation room." on one of your last frits, equipment failure may have happened and you didn't know about it. a disturbing new report that the "associated press" is releasing about recent flights involving u.s. jet liners experiencing curious technical problems after an air france plane crashed into the atlantic. let's go straight to jeanne meserve. what are you finding out? >> reporter: well, as early as next week, the federal aviation administration may issue an order requiring airlines to change the speed kren source on airbus a-330s. the air france flight was an a-330. investigators have not determined what caused that accident. automatic messages sent before the crash indicated there were
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inconsistent speed measurements and that has focused attention on pitot tubes. they turned up other speed censor incidents with a-330s and now they have turned up a dozen other occasions where speed censors malfunctioned. all of them, northwest a-330s. delta would not confirm the process. they said they are in the process of replacing all the pitot tubes on their fleet. what kind of remediation will work out, is being worked out with the goal of making all 600 a-330s safe. >> could they call for the grounding of all these planes? >> reporter: that would be extremely unusual. the speed censors have not been proven to be a factor in one
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plane crash. if they call for the tubes to be changed sooner than the plane's next scheduled maintenance. that would indicate the faa's use as a major safety issue. >> another story involving plane travel. you might say members of congress want an upgrade. amid the sagging economy, lawmakers could soon be getting expensive new planes. in a twist, the planes are similar to airliners that fly around top ceos. lawmakers say there is a good reason to buy these planes. let's go straight to our brian today who has an update on what's going on. brian? >> members of congress were accused of major hypocrisy on all of this. you remember last year, they really grilled the ceos of the top three automakers for taking private jets to washington while their company's were failing. then, congress turned around and appropriated this money for themselves for private
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airplanes. we spoke to a committee spokesman in congress who is fed up with that criticism and wanted to put it into context for us. >> brush back from congress against recent allegations for overspending. a spokesman tells us the house isn't being wasteful or selfish in the money it is doling out for new gulf stream jets. >> she asked for only one new jet. >> we ask for what we need and only what we need. >> reporter: the house added two more jets. the price tag, nearly $200 million. the house committee spokesman says there are a total of seven that the air force plans to replace with the new gulf stream jets anyway. by paying to the planes now, congress is speeding up the process and saving money because the newer jets are more reliable and cost less to maintain. steve ellis, from the watchdog group taxpayers for common sense, points out that the two extra planes will be parked at an air base close to washington, d.c. and available to members of
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congress. >> they are going to andrews air force base and we are about to spend $133 million so that congress will have some nice gulf stream jets, the same thing that the ceos fly around in to travel in comfort. that house appropriations spokesman counters that argument saying the new jets will end because that's where the fleet of planes that will be replaced is located. >> there is some perspective on how much these private jets are used by congress compared to other people. >> this appropriations committee spokesman said over the past five years, less than 15% of the use of these planes has been by members of congress. they are actually mostly used by members of the military and delegations from the white house. >> brian todd, thanks very much for that. fears are flying high over how bad swine flu might be this fall. government officials warning of a possible strong resurgence of the virus. today, they laid out some ways
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to battle it. health and education officials advice students and teachers they practice good hygiene, washing their hands and covering their faces when coughing or sneezing. they are discouraging school closings with a swine flu outbreak. revised guidelines now advise a child can return 24 hours after the outbreak of the swine flu. officials say a vaccine should be ready by the fall. let's go to jack cafferty. he has the cafferty file. jack? >> yeah. >> you are laughing. >> yes, i am. working in the big studio, lts like being a member of the dance theater of harlem. the swans go offstage. the spear carriers come in from the right. 34 million americans are getting food stamps. that translates to 1 in 9 people.
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another sign we are going through the worst recession since the great depression. a government report shows that may was the sixth month in a row that food stamp enrollment increased. it was up in every state with florida showing the largest increase. the economic stimulus package temporarily increased food stamp benefits. the average is about $134 per month per person. the city of detroit, michigan, has been hit especially hard. c has a sad story about a lack of food in the motor city where unploichlt has t topped 16%. in some neighborhoods, there are people guarding food supplies and those looking to help have evenr6z6[6;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;e9 what'slly troubling about all this recession in a place like detroit is the kind of people who are looking for assistance. it is no longer just about the homeless or the poor. now, it is also the middle class, those who maybe lost jobs
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in the automobile industry or homeowners who saw the value of their home simply evap rate. although we are seeing positive news on the job front nationally, it is clear that millions of americans will continue to feel the pain of this recession for a very long time to come. here is the question. what does it mean when one in nine americans is getting food stamps? go to slash cafferty file and post a comment on my blog. >> that's a really shocking statistic, really shocking. jack, thank you. could it happen where you live? the sheriff warns residents of possible killings and home invasions. law enforcement money is being slashed. why is economic security up against public security. it's a sign of broken government. hanging on for life. window washers dangle after a freak accident. you are going to see how it ended. a disturbing twist regarding billy mays death. officials say something else caused the tv pitch man's passing. that would be cocaine.
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it's i frightening thought, criminals lurking in your neighborhood and when you call the police, they can't help much. the sheriff's shugs it's a sign
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public security is being pitted up against security. they are simply in financial crisis. the county could have to slash their operating budget by as much as 50%, decimating public services. county leaders say, there is no quick fix. i wept fnt for a ride with jeffn sheriff's deputy, michael jackson, in a section hit hard by crime. >> i feel for those living out here. the one's that approach me are all scared. >> reporter: the county is in crisis. dramatic budget crisis means nearly 300 of the 800 sheriff department employees will be out of work and off the streets and officers are fearful that crime will skyrocket.
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>> reporter: the people you have talked to, are they scared? >> they are terrified. you have a lot of elderly people out here living alone. they rely on us to have their back. we are taken away. who are they going to have? >> reporter: to avoid open season for criminals, the sheriff is urging the governor to consider sending the national guard to alabama's most populous coun county. hale has been told he will have to cut his budget. >> reporter: what i will have left after furlough is enough to work the jail and five or six beats within the county. >> reporter: what led to jefferson county's broken government? part of the pinch can be blamed on the recession. the big problem, the county instantly lost about $70 million from an occupational tax on income it had collected since the 1980s, even though lawmakers repealed it about a decade ago.
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courts only recently mandated the court start collecting that money. >> we are enduring the darkest hours this county has ever lived through. >> reporter: the county commission president says there is no quick fix. the commission has already ordered furloughs for 33% of the county's employees. >> you cannot have more expenditures than you have revenue. so what's the largest area of expense, personnel, which is why we have 1,004 people on administrative leave without pay. >> reporter: among those on furlough, michael morrison who has worked three years in the county zoning and planning office. he predicts major problems. >> it's going to slow down county road construction, road maintenance, bridge maintenance, debris pickup after storms. >> look at this massive line. people are waiting eight and nine hours to renew auto tax. cuts mean there are only three people working inside and a lot of frustrated people outside in line.
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>> it is insane. you have these people that would want this thing and these people that want this thing and nobody will communicate to fix it. we could be at a kinder garden class watching this. >> reporter: sheriff hale has pushed back and refused to furlough his employees. if his budget is cut in half, deputy jackson says there will be a lot of people who suffer. >> with this cut, if we lose 50% of our personnel, it is just letting the bad guys know, hey, we can pretty much go in center point and do whatever we want to do or any other part of the county that the sheriff's department controls. >> reporter: they could be called into a special session to bail jefferson county out. people are frustrated, angry and wonder how the financial situation got so bad so quickly? wolf? >> sean caleb, thanks for that report. the legislature still trying to come to an agreement. the decision could come as early
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as monday on whether to hold a special session to deal with this fiscal crisis. the latest word from the alabama legislators is that they are still working to come to an agreement, by the way. we will see what happens. an autopsy report shows how an illegal drug played a part in the sudden death of television pitchman, billy mays. plus, a woman who met the pennsylvania house at a dating workshop speaks out on the man she was trying to help. the sister of senator ted kennedy and the late president kennedy, unis shriver, now in critical condition surround bid her family. toyota, or honda.d, now get an '09 cobalt for under fifteen-five after all offers. and get it for even less if you qualify for cash for clunkers program.
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right now, done, what's going on? >> reporter: we are keeping tabs on a lot of stories. unis kennedy shriver is in critical condition. they say the 88-year-old is surrounded by her husband, five children and grandchildren, as well as her son-in-law, california governor, arnold swaz negligenter. in addition to being the sister of president kennedy and ted kennedy, she is the founder of the special olympics.
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the senate ethics committee has cleared senators dodd and conrad of breaking rules biceping cut-rate mortgages. they found that vip mortgages they received from the lender, countrywide, did not violate senate gift rules and weren't necessarily the best available. they scolded the two for not being more careful to avoid the appearances of wrongdoing. president obama signed off on a bill to extend funding for cash for clunkers, offering refund vouchers wofrth $4,500 to car buyers who trade in gas-guzzling vehicles. even after his death, michael jackson's ability to generate controversy lives on. the mayor of carson, california, was blasted for ordering the american flag outside city hall blown as half staff on the day of jackson's funeral e is hoping
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to quiet the critic by introducing legislation that would bar him or any future mayor from issuing any such order. check out this from a high-rise in long beach, california. rescuers pulled two window watchers to safety after the metal scaffolding they were working on partially gave way. they were wearing safety har nesses and dangled from the platform until help arrived. >> i love those safety har nesses. you would never do that, would you? >> no, afraid of heights. >> thank you. we are learning more details about the man who killed three people in a pennsylvania gym tuesday night. a woman who encountered that man at a dating workshop in los angeles speaking out on the man she was trying to help. let's go to our internet reporter, abbi tatton. she has tracked her down.
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abbi, tell us what she is saying. >> she said this man, george sodini, didn't seem like a killer but wanting to improve himself. we tracked down 20-year-old erin miklo who was hired to work this dating workshop in los angeles last year. three days of eight-hour-a-day seminars in los angeles that sodine had traveled from pittsburgh to attend. she says he was the most studious man in 20 attending, really quiet, took a lot of notes. the instructor was telling them they were too nervous, too nice to be able to meet women. look at this. at even one point at the beginning of the seminar, he writes, nice guys must die. she said she was there to help them get less nervous and over a few days, many of the men managed that but not sodini. he never loosened up.
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>> when was this seminar? >> these workshops were at the beginning of 2008 in los angeles. we have seen from youtube videos that sodini made over the summer that he was still working on the skills. by november e was already plotting this attack on the gym. >> thank you. a surprising twist in the death of tv pitch man, billy mays. an autopsy report just released reveals that cocaine played a role. hillary clinton reflecting on the failed health care reform she spear headed years ago and the prospect for a different outcome this time. >> i gave my blood, sweat, and tears and i think we, despite all of the difficulties of that effort, we got people thinking and we helped to further the
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an autopsy report released late this afternoon revealed that drugs played a part in the tv death of pitch man billy mays. what are you learning, mary? >> the autopsy results are showing that cocaine played a factor. the 50-year-old tv pitch man, they previously determined, died of heart problems. with toxicology reports now complete, the hillsboro medical examiner's department reports that he used cocaine a few days prior to his death and that cocaine use caused or contributed to the development of his heart disease and, thereby, contributed to his death. there had been a lot of questions surrounding the death of mays who came famous for grabbing attention with his energetic commercials for things like oxiclean. >> place in the toss and go
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dispenser. just toss and go. it stays in your washer while it cleans over 25 loads. laundry just got easier. >> there were lots of questions that came up immediately after his death, weren't there? >> there really were. he died on june 27th. his wife found his body in their home. he had been an oi plane that had a rough landing the day before his death. he said he hit his head. there were questions about whether that played a factor. it was learned he had heart problems. in addition to officials reporting cocaine in his body, they also said that they showed therapeutic amounts of some pain killers in his system. he had had hip problems and was supposed to have hip replacement surgery the day after he was found dead. wolf? >> mary snow working that story for us. thank you. the number is out. 247,000 americans lost their jobs in july. experts were bracing for much worse. that's the smallest number of job losses this country has seen in a year. in fact, unemployment actually
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ticked down a tenth of a percent to 9.4%. let's go to our senior white house correspondent, ed henry. what more is the president saying, ed? >> reporter: well, wolf, the president was trying to temper his excitement, a little bit, at least. he wasn't popping any champagne korks but he was patting his administration on the back. not everybody is celebrating these new numbers. the upbeat job report is little comfort to greg thompson who feels fortunate that the unemployment benefits he collects in washington, d.c. were recently extended. >> for me, i am just glad they did. there is no jobs. i mean, i go out every week and i get the same story. >> reporter: a couple of miles away at the white house, the president had a much rosier view of the impact of his stimulus
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plan. >> this morning, we received additional signs that the worst may be behind us. >> reporter: while 247,000 more people lost jobs in july, the president noted that's far better than what he inherited. >> we are losing jobs at less than half the rate we were when i took office. we pulled the financial system back from the brink while we rescued our economy from catastrophe. we have also gun to build a new foundation for growth. >> reporter: republicans insist the stimulus may be working on the march jints but has not provided the jolt the president originally promised. >> you have to define working. they have set the bar that says we were going to have the second great depression and we didn't. so it has to be working. >> reporter: while the president acknowledged there is a long way to go, he struck a very optimistic tone. >> i am convinced we can see a light at the end of the tunnel. now, we will have to move forward with confidence and conviction to reach the promise of a new day. >> reporter: greg thompson, a heavy machinery operator says,
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while some jobs may be coming back, ages are plummeting. >> i get some people to say, i'll pay you so much. i say. that's half what i've been getting. they say, if you don't want it, we'll get somebody else to do it. >> reporter: some of the president's aides are not quite as optimistic as he is. spokesman, robert gibbs says he thinks unemployment could reach 10%. on one hand, you have the president saying, look, maybe the worse is over. then, you have his staff saying, it could get a little worse. they are walking a very fine line here, wolf. >> they are really sensitive to the whole mission accomplished banner issue that came up after the initial phase of the war in iraq and president bush paid a major political price for that banner. >> absolutely. you are right. they don't want to look in the same way that then president bush looked like he was celebrating a victory in iraq when there was a lot of hard work left to be done. he lived to regret that obviously, at least politically.
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they don't want to make the same mistake here, wolf. rush limbaugh compared democrats to nazis when it comes to health care reform. now, the white house is firing back. stand by. sometimes diplomacy is like a dance. sometimes it is a dance. check out the secretary of state, hillary clinton. she gets her groove on. we will show you how she is dancing in africa. a lot more right here in "the situation room." meet jack. recently turned 65. glad he's now got medicare on his side. but jack knows that medicare part b cpders only... 80% of medical expenses.
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so, he got himself an aarp... medicare supplement insurance plan -- insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. a medicare supplement plan... lets you to keep your own doctor, helps you budget medical costs, and it picks up some of that 20%, potentially saving you thousands of dollars... out of your own pocket. if you're turning 65, or are 65 already, call now for this free information kit... and medicare guide. learn more about aarp medicare supplement insurance, and its wide range of coverage options, competitive pricing, and, plans that travel with you nationwide. so call now, just like jack and millions of others have done. because when it comes to medicare, we should all be on a roll. call now for your free information kit... and medicare guide. ♪
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the rhetoric in the debate over health care reform is now really getting ugly. let's talk about that and more with david frum, and paul bagala and cici conley is joining us. i want to go to debra feric with some background. >> they say rush limbaugh is on thin ice for comparing democrats to nazi. they are sponding to these. >> the democratic party and where it is taking this country, the radical left leadership, bears much more resemblance to nazi policies than anything we
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on the right believe in at all. >> now, the back and forth started afternoon started after nancy pelosi said health care are wearing swastikas. >> you will find that the obama health care logo is damn close to a nazi swastika logo. >> he is comparing this symbol of the third reich to this obama logo. does this hurt those fighting for health care reform? >> i think it is an almost perfect convergence of interest between president obama and rush limbaugh. what's good for one is good for the other. they have a sim biotic relationship. the republican party and responsible conservatism is the victim.
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there are so many things wrong with the plan coming through the house. there are some interesting possibilities in the plan emerging from the senate's finance committee. >> those are strong words. you have to admit by any definition of the heated rhetoric over this debate. >> i am going to site michael godwin's laws. he is one of the pioneers of internet law and privacy. his law is this,in any debate, when somebody mentions a hitler or nazi analogy, that person loses the debate. it has happened on the left. i remember some anonymous person submitted an ad for to compare president bush to ad do adolf hitler. david frum has been a lonely voice.
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joined by cliff may, a former spokesman for the republican national party. cliff, strongly on national review, spoke out against what limbaugh did. thundering silence. >> a powerful figure. does he help or hurt the republican party. >> i tend to agree with david on this point. there are all sorts of serious substantive debates we can have around the health care policies and proposals now up before congress. it's hard to see how rush limbaugh helps even republicans in this process, unless you are a political analyst that you think distracting from the topic helps them in some way. it is hard to see how this really assists anybody but rush limbaugh. >> how about his argument that he often makes that he is a radio talk show host trying to be provocative and stir things
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up. >> of course, that is what he is trying to do. he is in a declining radio revenue market. there are some very interesting stud dison this. we published some on my website. the decline in revenue forces radio hosts to be ever-more provocative. he has an interest. he is a businessman. he is selling advertising time. it is like pornography. you get people interested with evermore extreme forms. president obama is working with him. >> should the democrats simply ignore a comment like this from rush limbaugh? >> no, no. >> it winds up helping rush limbaugh. >> david is right. months ago, we sent out a memo say rush limbaugh was the leader of the republican party. he helped to whip up this frenzy. when we did it, we knew there was one big risk if a leading national republican stood up and denounced limbaugh, he or she
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would become the leader. i was worried na mithat mike hue or sarah palin would do that. bill clinton picked big fights with labor unions. barack obama picked a big fight with the clintons. strong leaders have to take on the tired leadership of their party. >> hold your thoughts for a second. i am going to take a quick commercial break. town hall free for alls. what's behind the screaming and yelling at these meetings on health care reform? hillary clinton ran the last major effort on health care reform. now, what is it like to watch from the sidelines. >> do you ever wish you were back in the white house running? >> i feel like i gave. i gave my blood, sweat, and tears and i simply --
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are they phoney proteflts or
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serious protests at the health care town hall meetings? let's get back to our panel. first, some background. >> why is senator harry reid carrying around a piece of artificial turf on capitol hill. to illustrate his point that these disruptions are as phoney as fake grass. ouch. that's likely to anger americans as they get more involved in the health care debate. take this meeting yesterday where tough questions were donna edwards. >> if you are sincere about cost control, it seems to me that tort reform has to be part of your bill? >> now, no angry mobs shoving or yelling but that meeting isn't getting as much attention as ones like this in tampa.
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one man said this scuffle makes him think this is more about the economy than anything else. >> sometimes they are attacking obama, the administration and it's not about health care. >> so is he right? have these protests become more about opposing the president than about debating health care reform? wolf? >> good question. let's ask ceci connolly. >> it is a little bit of all the above. i think there are genuine protestors showing up. lots of it is in the phoney astro-turf category that harry reid talks about. certainly, people are showing up with all sorts of frustrations. the economy is still pretty rough out there, especially when you get beyond the beltway. we are seeing some of that. >> how does this substantive debate take plays, david, amidst all the noise? we spoke about it earlier, the
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nazi comparison and stuff like that? >> wolf, what i worry about is that if republicans and conservatives somehow stop this or if it falls apart of its own weight, that may turn out to be a victory of free market principles. republicans need to remember that we have people whom we are supposesed to represent, entrepreneurs, small business and self-employed who are facing rising costs. we have to remember them. you can't forget, there are people who you help who have real problems that they send you to washington to solve. >> rush limbaugh makes the point and i'll throw it to palm begala that he started making these comparisons after nancy pelosi started saying some of the speakers were carrying spasty
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kas. >> she was reporting the truth. some of those reporters were -- i think they were trying to accuse the obama administration of fascism. i know the speaker is right. i have seen the photographs and the coverage. that is self-defeating. david is right. i am really glad that deb's piece included that responsible, reasoned conservative criticism in maryland, that citizen is fighting the health care bill that i support very effectively. you ask tough questions. you put your congresswoman, donna edwards, up against the wall. that's great. that's democracy. that's the way it ought to work. ceci is right, some is real. every president engenders tiny minority that hates him. i saw it with bill clinton. david saw it in the white house. those people rarely drive policy. they are like ross perreault, like a crazy aunt you lock up in the basement. they need to focus on reasoned
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responsibility questions. they are getting drowned out. thanks very much. secretary of state, hillary clinton, feels strongly about health care reform. she was once the point person pushing it back in the clinton administration. listen to what she has now told cnn cnn's fareed zakaria. what message would you have for the democrats that are holding up the bill or are they amending it in ways that are useful and productive? >> i think it is a healthy process that's going on. they are having to hammer out all of their differences. there are serious differences and viewpoints, for example but what the president has said and what i believe is the right approach is that that can't be put off any longer. back in '93 and '94 when i was on the front line of taking all
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the incoming fire on this issue, people didn't really accept in their gut that we had to do this. they kept thinking there is another way out of this. it's not that bad. we'll try, you know, managed care. we will try more hmos. we'll try all of that. now, all these years later, we realize that we have some fundamental problems with our existing system that have to be addressed. so i actually believe that at the end of the day, with all of this negotiation and back and forth, we're going to come up with something. my hope is that it is going to be meaningful enough to make a difference, make a difference on the cost side, which is the paramount issue for people like us who have insurance. how do we keep affording it and making sure that it is of high quality? assurances that what we are going to do on the public side, the medicaid and medicare program, are not going to
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undermine those programs in ways they can't deliver cost effective quality quar. getting people insured and moving as rapidly as possible toward universal care. changing the delivery system and the incentives so that we actually figure prevention, pay for prevention. you know, in '93, for example, fareed, i had a man who became a friend of mine, but i didn't know him at the time. dean ornish. he came to see me, i have proof -- >> this is the doctor -- >> that did a lot of work on cardiovascular health. he said changes in diet and exercise are as effective if not more effective in medical preventions in lowering people's overall threat of heart disease. but he said, i can't get medicare to pay for somebody going to an exercise class or to pay for a nutritionist to come to their house and talk to them. well, we worked and worked on that all through the time my husband was president. and then finally during --
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sometime during the bush administration, the centers for medicare and medicaid, cms, said, okay, fine, we'll begin to pay for this. well, it shouldn't be that hard. you know, we're more than happy to pay for a pill or pay for a procedure. how do we change behaviors? how do we convince, you know, the medical establishment to do that? there's just a lot that needs to be at least included, even if we can't get to the finish line right away. >> the passion about this, did you ever wish that you were back in the white house running this? >> well, i feel like, you know, i gave. i gave my -- my blood, sweat, and tears, and i think we, despite all of the difficulties of that effort, we got people thinking. and we helped to further the debate. it was, you know, disappointing that we -- that we didn't get it all done, but, you know, we got the children's health insurance program done, we got portable insurance. we got some things accomplished in the '90s and actually under
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the bush administration some changes were made so that the government said to hospitals, we're not going to pay for what are, you know, "never" events. nobody should get bed sores. people should be given an aspirin if they come in and given a pneumonia shot. things that are really required. so, we made, you know, progress. but the problem is that we just never got to a critical mass of progress. and that's what i'm hoping to see now. >> madam secretary, thank you very much. >> thank you. good to talk to you. >> pleasure. by the way, you can see the entire, exclusive interview with secretary clinton on cnn's "fareed zakaria gps." they talk about a lot of subjects, including iran, north korea, the war in afghanistan, all this sunday afternoon, at 1:00 p.m. eastern only on cnn. let's check in with lou dobbs to see what's coming up at the top of the hour. lou? >> wolf, thank you very much. complete coverage tonight of what appears to be a nationwide rebellion against the president's health care plan. but the obama administration,
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the democratic party, and left-wing groups are striking back and hard. what happened to the politics of hope? also, another clear indication that the economy is rebounding. the unemployment rate falling for the first time in 15 months. but the white house appears reluctant to acknowledge the positive developments. and the federal government is giving the cash for clunkers program another $2 billion. but the rising questions about whether the program makes any sense at all for taxpayers, consumers, the car industry. we'll have that special report. join us for all of that, all the day's news, and a lot more, at the top of the hour. wolf, back to you. >> we'll see you then, lou. thank you. hillary clinton she's also among other things showing her stuff. the secretary of state turns into a dancing queen during her visit to kenya. check it out. and three elvis empersonators pose for a pictures in thailand, one of our hot shots.
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we're shopping for car insurance, and our friends said we should start here. good friends -- we compare our progressive direct rates, apples to apples, against other top companies, to help you get the best price. how do you do that? with a touch of this button. can i try that? [ chuckles ] wow! good luck getting your remote back. it's all right -- i love this channel. shopping less and saving more. now, that's progressive. call or click today. here's a look at some hot shots coming in from our friends at the associated press. pictures likely to be in your newspapers tomorrow. in switzerland, a catamaran is lifted by helicopter as it makes its way to the mediterranean. in the philippines stranded
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residents are rescued as flad waters rise. in afghanistan, a man passes out sample ballets as citizens prepare to vote for president. in thailand, check it out, three elvis impersonators pose for a picture. hot shots, pictures worth a thousand words. you can call it dancing diplomacy, or you can just call it the secretary of state having a good time. hillary clinton shows off her moves, on the dance floor, during her visit to kenya. all right, there she is. unfortunately, jack cafferty, we don't have any music or sound, but she's looking pretty good. >> well, she's moving and grooving with the rest of the folks, so, you know, whatever the tune was, she was right on the beat. >> i think she's better than george bush when he was dancing in africa, what do you think? >> yes, well, no comparison. she looks like a good sport. looks like she was having a good time. >> she could go on "the elendegeneres show" and dance with ellen.
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>> you did that. how many times did we look at that video in >> too many times. the question this hour, what does it mean -- this is serious stuff and kind of a sad commentary on where we are, i think. what does it mean when 1 in 9 americans is now receiving food stamps? amy writes from maryland, my sister has a ph.d. in english. she's been a college professor for 25 years. she was told recently by the university of pennsylvania they would not renew her full-time contract, and offered her instead one class to teach for practically no money. she went on food stamps this summer to be able to feed her and her daughter. this is so wrong on so many levels. sherrie in illinois, another example of main street usa getting its butt kicked to no end, and wall street laughing and joking because the dow's over 9300 so all's well with the world. paul in maryland writes, it means the republicans control the white house and congress for six years and now we're paying the bill. next up for the "just say no" crowd, a watered-down health care bill that will help the
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insurance companies to give them all the money they need to remain good republicans. samantha in oregon, in a country where obesity is a huge problem, 1 in 9 people using food temps, we have a disconnect between our needs and greed. i'm still out of a job and about to join the 1 in 9 americans using food stamps. it's sad when one invests so much in an education only to have to appeal to the government for something as basic as food. marguerite in colorado, it means the fat cats of aig and goldman sachs ought to be taxed to support those who are food stamps, people who have been screwed by the financial industry. they eat caviar and the middle-class goes to food banks. we have serious domestic issues and rising costs of basic necessities. i have to go now, jack, my congressman's private jet just landed and we're throwing him a welcome home party. if you didn't see your e-mail here, you can

The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer
CNN August 7, 2009 4:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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